|"Suffer the Little Children to Come unto Me" -- by James Tissot|
FIRST READING: Ezekiel 18: 1 - 10, 13, 30 - 32
1 The word of the LORD came to me again:
2 "What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, `The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'?
3 As I live, says the Lord GOD, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel.
4 Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins shall die.
5 "If a man is righteous and does what is lawful and right --
6 if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor's wife or approach a woman in her time of impurity,
7 does not oppress any one, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment,
8 does not lend at interest or take any increase, withholds his hand from iniquity, executes true justice between man and man,
9 walks in my statutes, and is careful to observe my ordinances -- he is righteous, he shall surely live, says the Lord GOD.
10 "If he begets a son who is a robber, a shedder of blood,
13 lends at interest, and takes increase; shall he then live? He shall not live. He has done all these abominable things; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself.
30 "Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, says the Lord GOD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin.
31 Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel?
32 For I have no pleasure in the death of any one, says the Lord GOD; so turn, and live."
PSALM: Psalms 51: 12 - 15, 18 - 19
12 Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners will return to thee.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of thy deliverance.
15 O Lord, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
18 Do good to Zion in thy good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
19 then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on thy altar.
GOSPEL: Matthew 19: 13 - 15
13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people;
14 but Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."
15 And he laid his hands on them and went away.